Sponsors are wonderful things!
I totally fell apart in my program this week. Of course, I have to start off by trying to be a little positive: I didn't pick up flour or sugar, although I have to say the thought briefly crossed my mind. I didn't even pick up the "sugar-free" ice cream with artificial sweeteners, although I have to say that the thought not only crossed my mind, but it sat there for the entire five minutes I stood in front of the ice cream freezer at the grocery store debating the issue. However, by yesterday I had pretty much convinced myself that either I couldn't or I didn't care enough to eat only my weighed and measured food.
It is hard to stick with specific weighed and measured meals when you are spending all day either getting food out for children or cleaning it up. It is really hard to do that when you have extra pressure and responsibilities in your life and you feel the stress mounting. On the other hand, it is quite easy to convince yourself that you deserve some extra pampering and that excess food is a safe way to get that. Hence the overdose I had on nuts...pecans, walnuts, almonds. All good, nutritious, "abstinent" foods in a prescribed quantity. Not abstinent when eaten by the handful whenever I walk past the nut canister.
By this morning I had convinced myself that I just couldn't do it. I didn't want to do it. There was no point to doing it. Life was going to be just too crazy and I should pick it up again on the 21st when things calm down around here. I made the decision to give up and not worry about what I ate as long as it didn't include flour or sugar. Luckily, I also made one other important decision: call my sponsor and at least be honest about my plan.
She listened and then told me exactly what she thought. As usual, she was inspired to say the right things and to help bring some level of sanity and rationality to my thinking. The talk was fairly long, hence the difficulty in condensing it here. However, here are some of the points that turned my thinking around:
1) Don't feel defeated. I haven't binged yet today. I can walk in and eat my weighed and measured breakfast. Just that simple act works wonders to helping me feel in control again. I can commit to do the same thing for lunch. And then for dinner. One meal at a time.
2) I have a problem with boundaries anyway, but they disappear at the first sign of crisis and flipping into survival mode. Posted on my frig: exactly what I am going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't have to think about it...just grab it at the appropriate time. When life gets complicated I tend to forget the concept of putting your own oxygen mask on first and then helping the child get theirs on. I take care of them and then (figuratively) am gasping for air while I frantically try to save myself by stuffing food in.
3) I have slipped into responding to feelings rather than acting on principles. That is exactly how addiction works. Note now posted on my frig: "Act (eat) based on principles and not on feelings." What an amazingly simple concept, but how easy to forget when we start to get stressed out!
I am frustrated that this blog isn't doing justice to how much help my sponsor actually was, but I am grateful that I feel more confident and have a greater sense of serenity with my food than I did just a few hours ago.